LONDON – European equities closed mixed on Thursday as investors in the region reacted to announcements from the European Central Bank.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session just below the flat line, after falling 0.8% earlier today. Industrials increased 0.6% while basic resources fell 0.8%.
The European Central Bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, but chose to slow the pace of net asset purchases as part of its emergency pandemic purchasing program.
“Based on a joint assessment of financing conditions and inflation outlook, the Governing Council judges that favorable financing conditions can be maintained with a rate of net asset purchases moderately below the (PEPP) compared to the previous two quarters, ”the ECB said. in a report.
On Wall Street, US stocks were mixed as investors remained cautious about the economy.
The dysfunction of the U.S. labor market amid the Covid-19 pandemic escalated on Wednesday when the Department of Labor’s survey of job openings and workforce turnover showed that offers jobs exceeded the number of unemployed by more than 2 million in July.
The first jobless claims in the United States last week fell to 310,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday, by far the lowest in the Covid era and a major step towards pre-pandemic normal.
Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 335,000 Americans to file for unemployment last week, up from 340,000 the week before.
In terms of individual stock price movement in Europe, easyJet plunged 10.2% after announcing a discounted rights issue, aimed at raising £ 1.2bn ($ 1.65bn) for finance its recovery in the event of a pandemic. The British airline also revealed on Thursday that it had recently rejected a takeover offer.
Genus shares fell 7.5% after missing full-year earnings expectations, while Peel Hunt downgraded the UK biotech firm from “to buy.”
Atop the Stoxx 600, Polish parcel locker company InPost jumped 5% after announcing a 37% increase in second-quarter profits on Wednesday.
Swedish maker Assa Abloy gained 4.7% after agreeing to buy the hardware and home improvement division of US company Spectrum Brands.
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– CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.